A recently published statistical analysis has argued that alients, if they exist, will be the size of bears.
Fergus Simpson, of the University of Barcelona, has used Bayes’ theorem and Bayesian statistics to argue that, based on estimated population sizes and distributions, an alien would have a median weight of 692lbs, or 314kg. As Biological Natural Scientists will know, body size on Earth roughly inversely correlates with the frequency of a species. Finding a mosquito is more likely than finding a blue whale, for example.
Simpson used this idea to posit that the median weight of a widely distributed alien species would be 692lbs, and aliens were likely to live on planets with a radius of 1.4 times that of Earth or less. This assumption was based on Earth’s ability to retain an atmosphere and water, and the ease of sustaining life at larger sizes.
While Simpson’s analysis gives us a good indicator as to what an alien could look like, Mathematicians and Staticians have found flaws in his arguments. Simpson’s argument was based on an assumption of civilizations of less than 50 million people, but there are no reasons to believe this to be true. It is also possible that humans are the median of all civilizations, and so rather than using humans as a ‘lower bound’ from which to gauge intelligent life might be incorrect.
A researcher at the STEI Institute has also argued that anything that large is likely to be in the water. Earth Sciences applicants should consider the connection between bodies of water and the biodiversity of creatures there to assess the validity of this claim.
- The Most Competitive Subjects At Oxbridge (And How To Choose Wisely) Oxford and Cambridge are two of the best universities in the... Read more >
- 30 Real-Life Oxford and Cambridge Interview Questions The Oxford and Cambridge interviews are notorious for having academically... Read more >
- Interactive Interview Exercise Manual ‘What should I expect at my Oxbridge interview?’ ‘How will... Read more >
- Social and Political Sciences Reading List We’ve brought together a wide-ranging bibliography to help those applying... Read more >
- Download an English Personal Statement “My background as a student at a European School, including... Read more >
- Download a History & English Personal Statement “Evidently reading is a major passion and Graham Greene has... Read more >
- Cambridge’s Supplementary Application Questionnaire After you have submitted your UCAS application to apply to... Read more >
- TSA Oxford mini mock & answers Thinking is very important to Oxford, so they’ve devised an... Read more >
- UCAS: A How To Guide The process of applying to university through UCAS can seem... Read more >
- Download a Biology Personal Statement “Assisting with the post mortem of a dairy cow during... Read more >
- BMAT overview & tips If you’re applying for Medicine, Biomedical Sciences or Veterinary Medicine you... Read more >
- LNAT overview If you’re applying for Law at Oxford you will need to sit... Read more >
- MLAT overview If you’re applying for Modern Languages, or their joint schools, you... Read more >
- HAT overview If you’re applying for History, or its joint schools, you... Read more >
- Cambridge Law Test overview If you’re applying to read Law at Cambridge you will probably need... Read more >
- Music Reading List Applying for Music at Cambridge or Oxford requires a range... Read more >
- Modern Languages and Linguistics Reading Lists Applying for languages? It’s always difficult to narrow down what... Read more >
- History of Art Reading List History of Art at Oxford and Cambridge allows you to... Read more >
- June’s Top News Stories Read more about some of the biggest news stories to... Read more >
- Is a “Religious Morality” rational? One of our Oxbridge graduate tutors, Emma, looks into the... Read more >
- Statistics: 2015 Annual Survey Want to find out what your chances are of getting... Read more >
- Information on choosing a course at Oxford or Cambridge “Perhaps it is because Oxbridge encourages more ‘traditional’ A Level... Read more >
- Cambridge college snapshots Despite having a smaller number of colleges than Oxford, each of... Read more >
- Oxford and Cambridge International Grade Requirements If you’re applying to Cambridge or Oxford but you’ve not... Read more >